• Commentary by the filmmakers
• Evolution Expedition – in HD (18:24)
• Unearthing the Lost World – in HD (8:41)
• Buck: From Easel to Weasel – in HD (7:12)
• Walk the Dinosaurs: Music Video – in HD (1:32)
• 2 Unfinished Deleted Scenes – in HD (4:33)
• 2 Scrat Shorts [No Time for Nuts & Gone Nutty] – in HD
• The Scrat Pack: The Saber Toothed Squirrel & Scrat from
Head to Toe (10:12), Breaking Story (1:50), News Report
(2:29), & Falling for Scrat (8:29) – in HD
• 5 Fox Movie Channel Previews – in SD (27:54)
• Ice Age Storybook Maker
• Disc 2: DVD of feature film with commentary
• Disc 3: Digital Copy Disc
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
"Dawn"? Shouldn't that be "Return"? Even the characters in
this movie know these dinocritters have been extinct for
some while now. Title aside, Ice Age 3 has two things going
for it that were pretty much absent in the first two movies:
serious color and up-to-date animation. You'll remember that
the first two movies had a great deal of blue sky and white
snow and ice on which to place their perilously
two-dimensional movement – not that this was a fault, at
least not in the original. On the contrary, I took it all as
something of a breath of fresh air – a kind of return to the
roots, as it were. But by Ice Age 2: The Meltdown the lack
of visual substance was becoming a liability, especially in
terms of color. Enter the dinosaurs, who, if nothing else,
demand an entirely new lost world in which to lose our
characters – and it is a world rich in saturated color.
The theme for the Ice Age saga has been Family and Survival.
In the first movie, while everyone else heads south to get
the jump on the coming ice age, Manny the Mammoth (Ray
Romano) and Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo), joined by Diego
the Saber Tooth Tiger (Denis Leary) head north to rescue an
infant human. After a gripping climax in which Diego faces
off against whis fellow tigers, the three go off into the
sunset in what promises to be the beginning of a beautiful
friendship. The trio is threatened by Manny's love interest,
Ellie (Queen Latifah) in Ice Age 2, but by the end, the trio
becomes a quartet, with a couple of possums who tag along
just to annoy the audience. In the beginning of this third
installment, Ellie is pregnant, Diego hears the call of the
wild, and Sid becomes obsessed with becoming a parent
himself. The plot thickens when Sid happens upon a trio of
large eggs that soon hatch into little dinosaurs. It's love
at first sight – that is, until their mother returns to
claim her children.
One thing leads to another and once again a rescue is
necessitated when Sid is taken off into a Lost World where
dinosaurs rule and Manny, Ellie and Diego follow in pursuit.
They are guided by the one mammal who has survived by his
wits and action hero skills – Buckminster Weasel (Simon Pegg).
Buck has his own personal nemesis in these parts, a huge
albino Baryonx named Rudy. Rudy and the other dinobrutes
don't talk much, but they can make a pretty good roar when
the occasion arises. These two live for the challenge of
facing each other to the death – only . . .
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Scrat has found a love
interest of his own which plays itself out like a series of
commercials for itself throughout the movie.
captures were ripped directly from the
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence
compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale.
The second number places this image along the full range of
DVD and Blu-ray discs.
Fox has given the royal treatment for this sequel: Instead
of single layer @ 18 Mbps, we get dual-layer @ 36 Mbps.
While there are stretches of a curious softness, for the
most part the image is quite sharp, with all the detail,
texture and popping contrast you could want – though never
as nuanced as, say, Monsters, Inc. I found no compression
artifacts, enhancements, DNR or noise. An outstanding
transfer that reflects the filmmakers intentions, no doubt.
Audio & Music:
The audio, too, has been given a small bump to 7.1, though
this hasn't helped the voices any, which are curiously thick
and surprisingly flat. Vocal characterization remains
flawless, adding Simon Pegg as Buck the Weasel. While the
music and effects are more dynamically realized, I can't say
I was thrilled by any of it. Surrounds are not nearly as
engaged as expected. Bass and LFE are present when the dinos
are tramping through the jungle, and there is a certain
amount of whooshing about, but it's not as precise as we
have come to expect these days.
Once again with the hidden details on the menu! We click on
a special feature to reveal a Play All plus a couple of the
"All," but others may be hidden below the frame. It's not
like there are ever so many that the designers couldn't have
had a single frame to list them. Same goes for the Special
Features in general, which could have been subdivided into
Scrat stuff and all the rest, for example.
Like the previous Ice Age Blu-ray, Dawn of the Dinosaurs is
fully aware of their star character: Scrat, and there is
plenty here for his fans – all in HD - even if you are only
lukewarm about the feature film. We find two Scrat Shorts,
which are awesome,, a faux documentary about the
saber-toothed squirrel, complete with the obligatory, but
tedious, scratches. There is, however, a refreshing bit on
how one artist approaches drawing Scrat.
While better in every way than its predecessor, Dawn of the
Dinosaurs still does not come up to the storytelling
standards set by the original movie. All the same, I found
it worth the time, and it certainly looks terrific, even if
the audio doesn't match it. At this writing Amazon is
offering Ice Age 3 at 50% off, which makes this a bargain.
November 9th, 2009